Stories from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph receive the most +1 recommendations on Google+, although the Financial Times has more followers according to analysis by Searchmetrics.
A study into 13 national newspapers found that only nine of them have official G+ pages.
These papers are included in a total of 544,545 circles, with The Times, The Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star absent from the social network.
372,159 people were recorded as having the Financial Times’ G+ page in their circles – the Guardian came second with 75,255 circles and the Independent came third with 60,195.
In comparison, all 13 papers have Facebook pages with a combined total of 1,284,674 fans.
When looking at how often G+ users are sharing content, the FT is some way behind its rivals – most likely because of its paywall.
Data from Searchmetrics shows that stories and content from the Daily Mail received 10,493 +1s a week on average, compared to 5,822 for the Daily Telegraph and 3,367 for the Guardian.
The FT comes in sixth for +1 recommendations with 674 per week on average.
While the number of users on G+ is still relatively low compared to Facebook (though of course, Google is yet to release official figures) – publishers can’t afford to ignore it due to the recent introduction of Search, Plus Your World.
Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder Marcus Tober said G+ recommendations not only drive traffic but also have an impact on search rankings.
Google has already started showing personalised results – which incorporate online content that people’s Google+ followers have recommended – within search results. And it’s likely that it will be looking at using the insights it gets from Google+ data to determine and shape search results in other ways.”
The Guardian’s Facebook app pioneered the use of social media to increase engagement with news content, so it’s likely that it has a G+ strategy in place.
Speaking yesterday at the Guardian Changing Media Summit, Guardian News and Media director of digital development Tanya Cordrey said the Facebook app had been downloaded 8m times in six months.
She stated that it was only a matter of time before social overtook search as the publisher’s main source of traffic.
Considering the type of news content share on G+ by users, the most frequently +1’d article for Dailymail.co.uk was a story about how the majority of runway models meet the Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria for anorexia, which had been shared 837 times.
The Telegraph.co.uk’s most frequently +1’d article was a news story about an EU ban which prevents water brands from claiming that water prevents dehydration (1110), and the Guardian.co.uk achieved 1,142 +1s for a story about the crackdown on Occupy.
So, even though G+ would seem to attract a more tech-savvy, early adopter crowd, stereotypes in relation to reader profile still seem to ring true.